From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
We are speaking now of the righteousness by which we interact with God, not with men, and by which we apprehend grace and peace of conscience. The conscience however, cannot be pacified before God except by faith alone, because it is certain that God for Christ's sake is reconciled to us, according to Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Pulling It Together: The assurance of God’s love for us is always disturbed by our works. As soon as we trust in an act of charity or devotion to God, our confidence is shattered by an unkind thought or lack of devotion. That is when we must think of Christ instead of ourselves. So long as our thoughts are on our acts of charity or ability to fulfill the law, we become anxious and our consciences will be troubled. Since, however, we are not reconciled to God by our works, or even our works added to Christ’s work, we must always turn our thoughts to Christ. When we remember that we are justified by faith in Christ and not faith in ourselves, we return to a place of quiet rest and the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7).
Prayer: Quiet my heart, Lord, and strengthen my faith in you through the power of your indwelling Spirit. Amen.
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